Monday, January 19, 2015

Notice of Hearing: In the Matter of a Complaint Respecting JP Massiah


IN THE MATTER OF a complaint respecting
Justice of the Peace Errol Massiah            ·--------------.


The Justices of the Peace Review Council (the "Review Council"), pursuant to subsection l 1(15)(c) of the Justices of the Peace Act, R.S.O.  1990, c.  J.4,  as  amended  (the "Acf' ), has ordered that the following matter of a complaint regarding the conduct or actions of Justice of the Peace Errol Massiah be referred to a Hearing Panel of the Review Council, for a formal hearing under section 11.1 of the Act.

It is alleged that you have conducted yourself in a manner  that  is incompatible with the due execution of your office and that by reason thereof you have become incapacitated or disabled from the due execution of your office.  The particulars  of the  complaint regarding your conduct are set out in Appendix "A" to this Notice  of Hearing.

The Hearing Panel of the Review Council will convene at the Justices of the Peace Review Council Boardroom, Suite 2310, 1Queen Street East, in the City of Toronto, on Thursday, the 4th day of July, 2013, at 10 a.m. in the forenoon or as soon thereafter as the Hearing Panel of the Review Council can be convened to set a date for the hearing into
              the complaint.
A justice  of the peace whose conduct is the subject of a formal hearing before  the
Review Council may be represented by counsel and shall be given the opportunity  to be  heard and to produce evidence.

COPY  OF  EXH l B!i            ,_...,...                
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The  Review  Council  may,  pursuant  to  subsection  11.1(10) of the Justices  of the
I     Peace Act, dismiss the complaint after completing the hearing, with or without a finding that it is unfounded or, if it upholds the complaint, it may:
                                          (a) warn the justice of the peace;
(b)  reprimand the justice of the peace;

(c)   order the justice of the peace to apologize to the complainants or to any other person;

(d)   order that the justice of the peace take specified measures, such as receiving education or treatment, as a condition of continuing to sit as justice of the peace;

(e)   suspend the justice of the peace with pay, for any period;

(f)    suspend the justice of the peace without pay, but with benefits, for a period up to
30 days; or

(g)   recommend to the Attorney General that the justice of the peace be removed from office inaccordance with section 11.2 of the Justices of the Peace Act.

You, your counsel or your representative may contact the office of Ms. Marie Henein, of Henein Hutchison LLP, the solicitor retained on behalf of the Review Council to act as Presenting  Counsel  inthis matter.

If you fail to attend before the Review Council inperson or by representative, the Review Council may proceed with the hearing in your  absence  and  you  will not be  entitled  to any further notice  of the proceeding.

May 31, 2013

Marilyn E. King, Registrar
Justices of the Peace Review Council

TO:       Justice of the Peace Errol Massiah
c.                   Mr. Eugene Bhattacharya, Counsel for His Worship

 The particulars of the complaint regarding the conduct of Your Worship are set out below:

1.                 Between May 30, 2007 and August 23, 2010, you engaged in a course of conduct, including comments and/or conduct, towards female court staff, prosecutors and defendants that was known or ought to have reasonably been known to be unwelcome or unwanted. The conduct resulted in a poisoned work environment that was not free of harassment;

2.                 You acted in a manner inconsistent with the Ontario Court of Justice Discrimination and Harassment Policy for Judges and Justices of the Peace by failing to treat others in the justice system with mutual respect and dignity;

3.                 You displayed improper and/or offensive conduct and made inappropriate, sexual and/or offensive comments directed at females that made persons working in the justice system feel uncomfortable, uneasy or embarrassed;

4.                  Your Worship ought to have known that such behaviour, particularly given your position as a judicial officer, could cause offence, harm, discomfort and/or undermine the dignity of female staff and prosecutors;

5.                 The behaviour occurred in the workplace at the Courthouse or at a location or event related to the workplace;

6.                 Your Warship's inappropriate and/or offensive conduct contributed to a poisoned work environment such that the comments and/or behaviour created a hostile or offensive work environment for individuals or groups and diminished individuals' confidence in you as a judicial officer and their confidence in the administration of justice;

The acts are set out below in paragraphs 7 to 15 below.

 7.                    Your interaction with female staff was inappropriate and included sexual, suggestive and/or inappropriate comments and/or conduct.  Your  conduct  included  gender-related comments about an individual's physical characteristics or mannerisms; and/or unwelcome physical contact; and/or suggestive or offensive remarks or innuendoes about the female gender; and/or leering or inappropriate staring, including:

(a)               Leering at and/or ogling at female court staff.

(b)               When you were introduced to "AA" in 2007, you slowly looked her up and down causing her to feel uncomfortable and giving rise to a perception  of an "undressing" look.

(c)                You said to "BB", "Looking good today, 'B"' while looking her up and down head to toe with your eyes, and you often looked her up and down head to toe.

(d)               You said to "CC", "Girl, you're looking good today", "Oh, you look very nice today", "Those look really good", "Fits you", "Forms you".

(e)                You said to "BB" in the back hallway near the woman's washroom that you like two-tone blondes.

(f)                 You said to "DD", "Oh 'D', you're looking great today" and "Have you lost weight? Those pants look really good on you."

8.                    You invited court staff into your chambers when you were not fully dressed, including:

(a)                On two occasions between 2007 and August of 2010, you were in your chambers changing your clothes with the door open when "EE" came to your chambers to bring you paperwork. You told her to enter the chambers in circumstances when you were not fully dressed. In one instance you were about to put your shirt on and in one instance your shirt was wide open. You were either putting your  shirt on or talcing it off. You told her, "That's okay", "no,  no,  don't worry, just  stay" and said, "come on  in".

(b)               On two different occasions, you were in your chambers  changing  your clothes with the door open and when "CC" was delivering documents to you, you told her to come in when you were not fully dressed. On least one occasion, you were bare chested. You were either putting your shirt on or taking it off. When she turned around to leave, you made comments such as "no, no, it's fine, it's fine."

(c)          On another occasion, you were in your chambers changing your clothes with the door open and when "FF" was delivering documents to you, you were standing in partial view of the door with your shirt off.

(d)               In the hallway behind the courtroom, you inappropriately removed  your robe when you were wearing an undershirt underneath, and no dress shirt, in the presence of a female court staff person, "GG".

9.                 In late spring or early summer of 2010, when "HH", a provincial prosecutor,  was  coming in :from the parking garage to the courthouse. As she was walking  past  you,  you  said, "Mrs. "H", looking goooood" in a manner that conveyed sexual undertones. With your eyes you also looked her up and down in a manner that conveyed sexual connotations. This caused Ms. "H" to feel very uncomfortable and vulnerable.

10.             Between 2007 and 2008, when "HH", a provincial prosecutor, was walking up the stairs in the courthouse, you leaned in toward her from behind and with your mouth close to her ear, and you said, "Oooh, Lady in red" in a manner that appeared to be deliberately flirtatious, intimate and/or suggestive in an inappropriate way for a female in the workplace.

 11.            You approached "BB" when she was seated at her desk, stood inappropriately close to her, hovered over her, touched her shoulders and in a sensual, sexual way said, "How are you doing today?" causing Ms. "B" to feel very uncomfortable and shaken.

12.                In 2007 at a dinner at the University Women's Club in Toronto with other justices of the peace, you inappropriately "eyeballed" a female justice of the peace and stared at her chest.

13.                You  demonstrated  inappropriate  conduct  towards  female  defendants  in  the  courtroom, including leering female defendants in the court who appeared before you, looking them up and down in a sexual manner when they were standing in the courtroom, or walking up to the front of the court, or walking  away to  the door  of the courtroom, giving them  ''the once  over" Some prosecutors  and some court staff felt that their  confidence  in you  as a judicial  officer and that public confidence in the administration of justice  were negatively  impacted by their observations of your conduct in the courtroom towards female defendants.

 14.               In light of the nature of the conduct set out above in paragraphs 1 to 13, the range of women who were recipients of your conduct, and your history of judicial misconduct of a similar nature at a different courthouse, your conduct demonstrates a pattern of inappropriate conduct toward women in the justice system.

15.          The act or acts as set out in the above paragraphs individually and collectively constitute judicial misconduct that warrants a disposition(s) under section 11.1(10) of the Justices of the Peace Act to preserve the integrity of the judiciary and restore public confidence.

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